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How to do homework with siblings under school age

Benefits of involving younger siblings in homework activities 

Image via: Jantoo Cartoons

Doing homework with your school aged child with a younger sibling can be challenging. You have one child trying to learn and the other younger sibling trying to play.

However, if you can combine part of your homework/learning activities with your younger children who aren't in school, then they benefit too!

Below are some tips on how to introduce learning time with both children:

Reading

During read time, let your oldest child read you their book. Once it''s read. Find a younger child book and read the words and ask your younger child to repeat them (remember count silently to ten in your head) to give them a chance to think and respond. If they don't repeat it, move onto the next page. (Or start with asking them to repeat each word). Then, read to them both a harder book, so they both can hear a higher level of language and how speech and story telling works.

Result: Every body benefits. You are teaching your youngest how to read at an early age (no expectations! You are just providing them an opportunity to learn). Your oldest is involved too, by learning to read but then taking a mental break, while you focus your attention on your youngest. Then they both prepare for bed while you read and learn on how to get better.

Sight Words Learning

Sight words, are just as good. You might find that just having your youngest child play in the same room as your oldest, helps your youngest learn how to say the sight words. At first, it seems distracting as your youngest might not sit and look at the words but they repeat the words your oldest is reading.

Hand writing time


When it's time for hand writing, get out the drawing book for your youngest, while your oldest writes. This helps distract your youngest but still keeps them in the same space peacefully (as they won't want to be left out), while your school-aged child is writing.

Tips for keeping calm during homework time



  • It's important to not get mad at your youngest for playing (although sometimes this can become hard if they are getting a bit noisy) So set the rules and tell them, "This is quiet play time." As it's always a good way to settle both children for sleep.
  • Other tips, ask your school aged child to read their favourite book to their younger sibling. 
  • Get all children involved in maths counting with objects. 


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